Russia says 13 Ukrainian drones downed on way to attack Sevastopol, Moscow

Drone attacks deep inside Russian territory have increased since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.

Members of security services investigate a damaged office building in the Moscow City following a reported Ukrainian drone attack in Moscow Russia, August 1, 2023.
Members of the Russian security services investigate a damaged office building in Moscow, Russia, following a reported Ukrainian drone attack on August 1, 2023 [File: Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters]

Russian forces took down more than a dozen Ukrainian drones flying towards the capital Moscow and the city of Sevastopol in the annexed Crimean peninsula, according to the country’s defence ministry.

The attack on Moscow on Thursday is the latest in a series of Ukrainian drone raids deep inside Russian territory.

The defence ministry said in a statement that two drones “flying in the direction of the city of Moscow were destroyed”, while 11 others were brought down near the city of Sevastopol.

Two of the Ukrainian drones were “hit by on-duty anti-aircraft defence equipment, another nine were suppressed by means of electronic warfare and crashed in the Black Sea before reaching the target”, the ministry said of the attack.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

Thursday’s reported drone raid comes a day after Russia said it had shot down two Ukrainian combat drones that were deployed to attack Moscow, one near a major airport to the south of the Russian capital and one to the west of the city.

Ukrainian air attacks inside Russia have increased since the first reported drone attack against the Kremlin was averted in early May.

Civilian areas of the city were the focus of drone attacks later in May and a Moscow business district was targeted twice in three days earlier this month.

The New York Times reported in May that United States intelligence agencies believe Ukrainian spies or military intelligence were behind the initial drone strike on the Kremlin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned last month that “war” was coming to Russia, with the country’s “symbolic centres and military bases” becoming targets.

Russia has also launched thousands of long-range drone strikes on Ukraine throughout the war, often striking civilian targets far from the front lines.

Russian drones destroyed a fuel depot in Ukraine’s western Rivne region on Thursday, regional governor Vitaliy Koval wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

There were no casualties from the attack, he said.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies